Sep 24

Tweets In The Time Of Travel

Fine, Hunter, here you go:

Yes, I find myself tweeting less now that I’m living abroad. My assumption is that it’s mainly related to the time difference (8 hours). My tweeting cadence has basically been destroyed.

Granted, I have always been sort of a “lumpy” tweeter. That is, I tend to tweet a lot in relatively short bursts of time. (1/ Though not 2/in Tweetstorm™ 3/ format.) In fact, I did tonight about “iOS 8.0.1-gate”.

But now the stuff that tends to pique my tweeting interest usually happens at odd times of the day for me here. Either I’m asleep or in the middle of something else. 

Maybe I’ll find a new rhythm or other things to care about (the other football). Or maybe I’ll just mainly lurk. Or maybe I’ll just tweet more pictures of flowers and British thingsThe fact remains that a lot of what I tweet about (breaking tech news, live sports, etc) tends to happen on American hours. So I either come late to the game, or more likely, not at all. 

And I think I’m okay with that. At first, it was a little weird. But it’s also kind of nice having one less thing to be constantly checking and thinking about. 

“The writer must write what he has to say, not speak it.” — Ernest Hemingway (via z-bug)

The Real #TrueDetectiveSeason2 -

Cynthia Littleton:

HBO at long last has confirmed the first specifics about season two of drama series “True Detective,” including the casting of Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn in lead roles.

Story will revolve around three cops and career criminal who navigate a web of conspiracy after a murder.

Farrell plays Ray Velcoro, a compromised detective whose allegiances are torn between his masters in a corrupt police department and the mobster who owns him. Vaughn plays Frank Semyon, a man in danger of losing his criminal empire when his move into legitimate enterprise is upended by the murder of a business partner.

“Fast and Furious” helmer Justin Lin is on board to direct the first two episodes of the eight-episode season. Lensing is set to begin later this fall in California for a January premiere.

All jokes aside, you better believe I’ll be watching this. The best part of the first season of True Detective was the writing and the cinematic quality of the entire production — it really was like a great, eight-hour film.

The fact that it was Matthew McConaughey’s best performance ever (for my money, better than his Oscar-winning performance last year) was just icing on the cake. And I wouldn’t rule out Colin Farrell, who started out his career in such promising fashion with films like Tigerlandbefore veering off course, having a similar turn. 

HBO's Growing Leverage -

Meg James:

HBO has long been part of the glue that holds the TV channel bundles together. Distributors want HBO and Cinemax to remain exclusive to their premium packages — rather than being sold as a stand-alone product.

Bewkes might be positioning HBO for upcoming negotiations with cable and satellite TV operators. Several key contracts come up for renewal in the next few years, and Bewkes could use the threat of offering HBO as a stand-alone offering as leverage with distributors.

This is my concern — that while it seems like everything is headed in the right direction for HBO to break away from cable and offer a stand-alone service, that threat will likely just be used as the negotiating point when HBO starts to talk with the cable providers for a new deal in the coming months.

The reality right now remains that three-fourths of HBO’s revenues come from these deals. And Time Warner knows they now have leverage to get even more. For example, this oddity:

HBO doesn’t collect revenue generated by about 10% of domestic subscribers. Formulas created years ago to provide incentives to pay-TV companies to get more customers to sign up for HBO allow the distributors to keep the subscription fee if they reach undisclosed bench marks for recruitment.

Would love to know those benchmarks. Undoubtedly these kind of incentives are what lead to situations like this.


Sep 22

It’s like that video where the star sizes are compared and keep getting larger until your mind explodes.

It’s like that video where the star sizes are compared and keep getting larger until your mind explodes.

chemquiz said: How was writing your 500 post on your new iPhone? Is the extra space welcome or more cumbersome?

Definitely welcome, though I’m still getting used to typing on the iPhone 6. We’ll see what happens when the iPhone 6 Plus comes…

“We would like to thank all of our customers for making this our best launch ever, shattering all previous sell-through records by a large margin. While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible.” — Tim Cook, announcing that Apple sold over 10 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus’ over the weekend. 

Sep 21

The Plan To Save RadioShack

A few days after the launch of the latest iPhone and we still have lines out the doors of Apple Stores around the world. I was in this one on Friday. It truly was insane.

This stands in stark contrast to the recent news about RadioShack. Impending bankruptcy will probably drag this out for years, but the writing on the wall seems clear: the once-dominant consumer electronics retailer is going to die.

And that’s too bad. I, like so many people of my generation, have fond memories of the chain from my youth. It was the place to go and discover that anything and everything was possible with electronics. It was, in a way, the Apple Store of its day.

Okay, that’s probably a stretch. But if consumer electronics had been as mainstream in the 1980s as they are today, there’s no reason to think RadioShack couldn’t have been the place to be for everyone, beyond just the geeks.

Instead, RadioShack morphed into what was essentially a cell phone outpost pitted against the long-term interest of the carriers. Hence, the situation they’re now in.

No one is asking, but my plan to revive RadioShack would be to harken back to the old days with a twist of the way things currently are. I’d create an “Apple Store for everything.”

Yeah, yeah with Apple now the crown jewel of retail, everyone is trying to do this. But RadioShack has two distinct advantages. 1) This love of gadgetry is in their DNA. 2) They already have the retail presence.

And actually, number 2 has been a huge point of weakness for RadioShack. They’ve tried to close a large amount of current stores, but their investors won’t let them. So it may be time to turn the perceived weakness into a strength.

Yes, Best Buy and others have been trying to do this to some extent as well. But those stores are way too cluttered and intimidating. Radio Shack stores seem to be just the right size. The key would be to curate only the best-of-the-best Android devices, Google devices, Microsoft devices, Sony devices, etc. Not everything, just the best.

Then lay those items out around the store to let people try them out and compare. And have experts around to help. Experts not paid on commission. Experts who aren’t fucking clueless (go into a RadioShack store now, most employees are clueless about current technology). Actual experts in the various gadgets and ecosystems.

Yes, Radio Shack seems to be doing some of this with their new store strategy. But I’ve seen one of those new stores – they don’t go far enough. They’re just trying to be actual Apple Stores (including the emphasis on Beats). They should be more like Bizzaro Apple Stores.

Again, don’t offer everything, just the best things. Partner with The Wirecutter or someone who excels in this type of curation. Be the place people trust to sort through the gadget clutter.

And maybe mix in some new, exciting tech. Things like Oculus, 3D printers, etc. Things that excite the public’s interest and things they want to see in person.

If you can establish yourself in this way, I think the lines out the door on launch days (of select products) may follow.

Remember, when the first Apple Stores launched, they were ridiculed as a failure waiting to happen. Apple did a lot of smart things to get to where they are now, but the focus on quality products is what ultimately made the strategy work. We may not be able to rely on other consumer electronic giants to do the same on their own, and that’s where RadioShack could step in. To curate. The Apple Store for everything else.

(Written on my iPhone)


–Ernest Hemingway


–Ernest Hemingway

“It’s a little surreal in one lifetime to go from running out of money at the end of every month and living on macaroni and cheese, which is what I did when I came to San Francisco, to having all this money.” — Larry Ellison, in a 2003 interview with The San Francisco Chronicle. Ellison, who "stepped down" as CEO of Oracle this week is currently worth roughly $50 billion.



the evolution of the iphone.

Could watch this animation forever.

They grow up so fast.



the evolution of the iphone.

Could watch this animation forever.

They grow up so fast.

“There are the type of people who are going to live up to what they said they were going to do yesterday and then there are people who are full of shit. And that’s all you really need to know. If you can’t be bothered to show up, why should anybody show up. It’s just the end of the fucking world.” — Anthony Bourdain, telling Men’s Journal about the two types of people in this world.

What could go wrong?

What could go wrong?

(Source: brucesterling, via marc)

Sep 20

The Watch Band Connector is its Most Critical Component -

Lost amid all the talk about how much the Apple Watch will cost is an equally important and equally unanswered question: how much will the Apple Watch bands cost? Drew Breunig on the matter:

While the band mechanism itself was mentioned only briefly last week, I think it’s one of the most important components announced. The connector allows Apple to address the luxury and mass markets, allows them to ship a personal product by isolating the part which will go obsolete, and locks up a lucrative market which will provide margin cushions for the Watch itself, allowing for competitive pricing.

My guess is that these bands could range anywhere from $50 (for the sports bands) to $500 (for the high end ones) or maybe even more. Again, that’s aside from the watch itself.

And yes, the margins will be insane here for Apple. But these bands will also presumably be usable as Apple continues to iterate on the Watch itself. I assume they’ll come out with new bands over time, but it seems like these original ones are being engineered to last.

And it sure seems like Apple has engineered them with the notion that you’ll probably own at least a couple, and will swap them in and out as situations dictate.